Cartoon of neighbours in a line with the words 'do you have the happiest neighbours in Britain?' below

“What makes a great neighbour?” asks HomeServe as it uncovers formula for the perfect next-door neighbour

Posted 26 November 2015 8:30 AM by John Greaves

Forget the “doom and gloom” surveys, a study from leading home assistance company HomeServe has revealed that we’re still a nation of good neighbours and our unique community spirit is very much alive and kicking!

Following a nationwide poll of over 2,000 UK homeowners, more than 83% said their own neighbours have gone out of their way to help them and many know and interact with their neighbours regularly (42%).

Not only that, by using the data from the study, HomeServe-commissioned boffins at research experts Mindlab have uncovered the special formula and blend of common traits that make up the country’s “perfect neighbour”.

The equation is:

Perfect neighbour =(α-β+1653)/266


α = 3(A2+E2+L2)+2P2+42

β=77(A+E+L) +15P+30F-41S-35C-5Z

Note: The letters contained in the formula are explained in the Editor’s notes*.

Based on the research, the perfect neighbour is most likely to live in a house rather than a flat, is aged under 25, lives in Preston, is good at DIY, is 100% reliable in an emergency, is trustworthy and is very sociable with their neighbours.

As part of the study, scientists have been able to create a list of the country’s ‘happiest neighbourhood’ hotspots, with Preston in Lancashire topping the chart, closely followed by Dundee and in third place, Chester. A list of the nation’s top ten happiest neighbourhoods is available at

John Greaves, Brand Director, HomeServe, said; “We like to do things differently at HomeServe, which is why we wanted to focus on the positives and show that – despite what other surveys might say – we are a nation of happy neighbours who go out of their way to help make life easier for each other, just like we do for our Customers.

“We hear stories every day from our engineers across the UK about the examples of neighbourliness they’ve seen and we wanted to uncover what qualities set those really great neighbours apart, and celebrate our community spirit.”

Key findings of the research

Unsurprisingly, trust ranks highest of the list of the most important factors in nice-to-have neighbours, with more than 46% of homeowners polled saying it was most important to them. The trust factor was followed by; being friendly (17% deemed this most important); being helpful (15%); being considerate (13%) and, finally, being vigilant (9%).

The survey revealed that the nation’s community spirit is still very much alive. Of those polled, 83% said they’ve had their own neighbours go out of their way to help them. Many people know and interact with their neighbours (42%) with 15% knowing all of their neighbours and interacting with them frequently. Only 4% don’t know their neighbours at all.

Interestingly, 44% are keen to get to know their neighbours better and many would like to organise more social events similar to the street parties held during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (27%), community clean ups (25%), DIY skills sharing sessions (25%) and more local fundraisers for local community groups and schools.

An illustrative infographic outlining the findings can be found on HomeServe’s newly launched online lifestyle magazine, Ketchup

Download infographic


Editor’s notes:

The letters contained in the formula are below:



Values in the range 1-10 where





I help my neighbours whenever they need something doing and they help me

My neighbours keep away from me, and I don't bother my neighbours



In an emergency I know I can rely upon my neighbours

My neighbours would be no assistance in an emergency



My neighbours are mostly outgoing and extroverted

My neighbours are quiet and reserved



My neighbours and I are part of a close knit and sociable community

I don't get involved with my neighbours in a social way



I know of no talents my neighbours possess that can be of use to me

My neighbours have a wide range of skills that come in handy regularly



My neighbours have lots of opinions and is always quick to share them

My neighbours are mostly good listeners



My neighbours know how to have a good time

My neighbours are peaceful and calm



I help my neighbours whenever the need something doing and they help me

My neighbours keep away from me, and I don't bother my neighbours

About HomeServe:

HomeServe is a national home assistance company providing plumbing, drainage, electrics and heating maintenance and repair services through its own network of directly employed and sub-contracting specialist engineers. Over two million people in the UK have placed their trust in HomeServe and turn to us when it comes to fixing, maintaining and looking after their home.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @HomeServeUK

Read our online lifestyle magazine: 

About Mindlab:

Mindlab International is an independent research consultancy based in Brighton. Using neuroscience and psychology they offer the most effective research available by finding out how people feel as well as what they think.


For media enquiries contact Stella Pitt, HomeServe’s External Communications Manager, on 01922 651508 . Alternatively email